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Hiroshima Mayor Strongly Calls for Adoption of Nuke Ban Treaty (News)

New York, June 16 (Jiji Press)—Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi on Thursday strongly called for the adoption of a treaty to legally ban nuclear weapons during the second session of a United Nations conference for negotiations on the pact that runs through July 7. "I am speaking today as mayor of Hiroshima--the first city attacked by a nuclear weapon--to share the earnest wishes of hibakusha for …

Japan to Withdraw Troops from South Sudan in May (News)

Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)—Japan plans to withdraw its engineering troops deployed on a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan around the end of May, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said Friday. The withdrawal will end the activities of Ground Self-Defense Force troops that have lasted in the war-torn African country for over five years. "With South Sudan entering a new phase of nation-building, th…

Japan Self-Defense Forces Participation in UN Peacekeeping: An Idea Whose Time is PastIsezaki Kenji

Since the early 1990s, the Japanese government has campaigned vigorously to expand participation by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in UN peacekeeping operations—most recently, the mission in volatile, conflict-torn South Sudan. Yet, changes in the United Nations’ own peacekeeping mandates and rules of engagement have made such participation increasingly problematic under the Japanese Constitution, writes international peace-building veteran Isezaki Kenji. Isezaki urges the government to come to grips with these contradictions and explore other avenues for cooperation.

Supporting Children’s Entitlement to Family-Based Care

Doi Kanae opened Human Rights Watch’s first office in Asia seven years ago. Today she is actively engaged in drawing attention to the plight of children who are institutionalized because they are unable to live with their parents and promoting their right to receive family-based care.

UN Security Council Reform: A Challenge for Japanese DiplomacyVitaly Portnikov

The years 2016 and 2017 promise to be special ones for Japanese diplomacy. During this period Japan is serving as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council. This gives us a chance to take another look at the situation in this organization and at the way impactful decisions are made in the present-day world. Somewhat ironically, Japan's UNSC membership coincides with its hosti…

Boosting Japan’s “Proactive Contributions to Peace”Jeffrey Hornung

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō returned to office in 2012 with a promise to change Japan. Looking at his term thus far and his efforts to strengthen the US-Japan alliance, revise his country’s security policies, and pursue difficult economic reforms, Abe has already proven to be one of Japan’s most transformative premiers. This year, after a speech to Congress and a seventieth anniversary statement mar…

Timeline for October 2015

Two Japanese scientists win Nobel Prizes, Prime Minister Abe reshuffles his cabinet, and Japan reaches agreement with the other countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Look back on the top Japanese news stories of October 2015.

Confronting China’s Island-Building CampaignKōda Yōji

Chinese land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea are turning reefs into islands with ports and runways. As China pushes forward with its attempt to establish unilateral sovereignty over the sea, how should Japan respond in coordination with the United States and countries in the region?

Okinawan Identity and the Struggle for Self-DeterminationShimabukuro Jun

Since Onaga Takeshi’s successful campaign for governorship of Okinawa last fall, “Okinawan identity” has emerged as a rallying cry for unified opposition to plans for a replacement facility for US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma inside Okinawa Prefecture. Okinawan political scientist and activist Shimabukuro Jun explores the meaning of Okinawan identity in a historical context, focusing on the postwar experience of “structural discrimination.”

A Quarter-Century of Developments in National Security Legislation

Japan’s national defense policy has evolved as a cumulative response to world events since the end of the Cold War. It has gained new aspects through a series of conflicts, crises, and terrorist acts, including the Gulf War of 1991, the first North Korean nuclear crisis of 1993, the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001, the counterterror military action in Afghanistan, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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